Hello again from Charlotte! We are just an hour away now from being gaveled into session here at Time Warner Cable Arena.
To be honest, this arena feels like the keep at the center of a giant urban fortress. I had to pass through several layers of security to get in here, including a magetnometer and several security checkpoints.
There are rings of fences and barricades around this place, with police sentinels guarding all of the entrances. Choppers are always overhead, and joint federal/state/county police motorcades go by often. No one is allowed to get close to the arena unless they have a properly-issued credential.
I feel sorry for the people of this city who want to get close to the action out of curiosity, but can’t due to the extremely heavy security.
But I do have a credential… a floor credential, because I’m a delegate for Barack Obama… and here’s what the view is like from Washington’s corner:
We have some pretty incredible seats. Actually, maybe that’s an understatement. Super-incredible is more like it. It feels great to be this close to the podium and to the stage. To be amidst so many fellow progressives. Everyone is happy and having a good time. Lots of friendly greetings.
I saw Samantha Bee of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart out in the hall interviewing a delegate earlier. I also passed by Radio Row and did a loop around the floor past some of the broadcast booths. Rehearsals have been going on all afternoon, as convention staff get ready for a big evening beginning at 5 PM.
I’ll check back in later as we get going and the evening program starts rolling. Remember, your best best for watching the convention is C-SPAN. Failing that, try the livestream, or watch on PBS, which will have the best coverage of all the major networks. Stay away from CNN – they cut away too often to talk to pundits. And unless you feel like torturing yourself, don’t watch Fox.